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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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My tribute to Nick Hytner, Artistic Director, National Theatre
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly
There is someone I love, respect, and admire more than Benedict Cumberbatch and more than Mark Gatiss. Who is it?

Nick Hytner, the current Director of the National Theatre.

Photo http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/mar/14/theatreonsundays

The National cleaned up at the Oliviers this week and people who won the awards all complimented Nick in their acceptance speeches. He has done phenomenal things whilst he has been at the National, in terms of opening it up to new and diverse audiences - I particularly commend the Watch This Space festival which runs over the Summer, and the amazing contemporary revivals that he does of classic plays like The Man of Mode. He has brought in NT Live, which makes the National truly National and, indeed, International. He has also landed the most amazing corporate partnership deals - the most recent being one with the American Express - which has enabled him to keep ticket prices reasonable (the best value theatre in London).

This is Nick's vision for the National:

So welcome to The Umbrella Organisation Nick Hytner and let us give it up for Nick!

From wikipedia:

Sir Nicholas Robert Hytner (born 7 May 1956) is an English film and theatre producer and director. He has been the artistic director of London's National Theatre since April 2003.

Hytner was born in Manchester to a Jewish family, the son of barrister, Benet, QC, and Joyce Hytner. He attended Manchester Grammar School and read English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In the early 1980s he worked at Exeter University's Northcotte Theatre, and in the theatre department. He later became an Associate Director at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, where he worked between 1985 and 1989. Hytner first found himself working regularly at the National Theatre in London between 1989 and 1997.

Hytner's directorial work for theatre includes The Country Wife, Edward II, Don Carlos, Ghetto, Miss Saigon, Orpheus Descending, a 2-part adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, Alan Bennett's The History Boys, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel (1992), Southwark Fair and The Alchemist, Measure for Measure (1987), The Tempest (1988) and King Lear (1990), The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar (1992), The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh (1997), The Winter's Tale (2001), Mother Clap's Molly House by Mark Ravenhill (2001), Henry V (play) (2003) and England People Very Nice (2009).

Hytner has also directed movies, such as The Crucible, The Madness of King George, The Object of My Affection and Center Stage. Openly gay, Hytner strove to avoid stereotypical gay characters in The Object of My Affection. The film was later criticized by some gay critics as a "commercial whitewash."

Hytner is also a successful opera director with his production of Xerxes winning the Laurence Olivier Opera Award in 1985. Xerxes and his production of The Magic Flute are both still in the English National Opera repertory. He has also directed opera for Kent Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Paris Opéra, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève and Bavarian State Opera.

Hytner was knighted in the 2010 New Years Honours List for services to drama.

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Opera, theatre and film direction – wow, that's an impressive dramatic CV. Having been to the National Theatre last month for the first time in twenty years (the small matter of moving out of London and being occupied bringing up two children having rather stunted my cultural opportunities and finances until now) plus having experienced NT Live for the first time recently, I truly appreciate his efforts. Frankenstein was what reeled me back, but I'm hooked and hoping to return often. With forward planning, a matinee performance need not be an expensive day trip. I am also lucky to have discovered an NT Live venue in a nearby town at a local Arts Centre. Hopefully my days (decades!) in the cultural wilderness are now over. :-)

Firstly, your avatar is to die for!

Mr Hytner is a genius - the man works magic both as a CEO of the National and as an Artistic Director.

He is my God and I worship the ground that he walks on!

"Hopefully my days (decades!) in the cultural wilderness are now over. :-)" I hope so too!

WOW WOW WOW He directed one of my all-time-favourite dance movies, Centre Stage! KUDOS! AND I liked The Object of My Affection very much too!

I really enjoyed him in the Discover:Online director tour! He comes across as warm and personable, I wonder whether we'd get to meet him even when we're in London.

Finally, I have a hot date with Mr Hytner on 30 June at a Patrons event. I cannot wait to meet him!

He will be receiving an invite to our closing night party. I have no idea whether he is at the National that day or not. If he is, he may pop by. But he is very elusive. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I have only ever seen him at the National at one of his Platforms where he is speaking. I have never randomly run into him.

I was looking for him at the Oliviers. I was very close to Benedict but no sign whatsoever of the elusive Mr Hytner!

Wow! I hope the meeting is spectacular on 30 June! :DDD

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